SEA leader takes job to invest in his own community - Albuquerque Journal

SEA leader takes job to invest in his own community

Fred Shepherd became the CEO of Sandoval Economic Alliance in December.
Photo Amy Byres / Observer

The new CEO of the Sandoval Economic Alliance is invested in Rio Rancho, wanting to see its growth, he said.

After working as a community development specialist with the New Mexico Economic Development Department, Fred Shepherd took the position of CEO at SEA in December.

“The whole time I was working at the state, I lived in the community, and so I want to see the community grow. And that is part of the reason why I accepted the challenge of coming over here, is the fact that I live here,” Shepherd said. “I could have continued to work and try to cover four counties at a 1,000-foot level, but to be able to have more of an acting role in the change and growth in the community I live, that is something I wanted to be a part of.”

Shepherd said former CEOs have laid out groundwork so his role in SEA could begin.

“By no means can I take credit for the studies that were done when Steve Jenkins was CEO. He did a good job in setting up some of the groundwork and really getting things prepared.

“Barbara Brazil came and was able to help organization and streamline some processes,” Shepherd said.

“I just want to make sure we give credit to them; the programs that are set up are not programs that I came up with. This is work that others have developed and worked hard on so now my role is basically to help implement and make it successful.”

A 2017 Target Industry Study of Sandoval County developed the concepts behind many of Shepherd’s focuses. One focus is an initiative by SEA called Future Sandoval.

According to SEA’s website, the goals for Future Sandoval are:

• Economic growth,

• Talent development,

• Brand recognition, and

• Global competitiveness.

The study recognized three industries for SEA to target:

• Life sciences,

• Professional services and support, and

• Advanced technology and manufacturing.

“In economic development, I like to tell people, we become a jack of all trades,” he said.

Shepherd stressed that SEA can’t only focus on one aspect of economic growth.

“I can’t solely focus on developing sites. I can’t do that and neglect the businesses we have and the opportunities we have,” he said.

Shepherd wants to nurture business already in Rio Rancho and continue to increase engagement from the community.

“We need to hear what businesses are saying, what challenges they are facing, so we can provide feedback to the city and provide feedback to educational institutes,” he said.

Shepherd has recently utilized the VeriReady program, which provides development sites with much of the paperwork and approval process already done.

Each site has to meet a list of criteria to qualify as “suitable for development,” according to the VeriReady website.

Shepherd is working on a collaborative among business and educational programs to hear the needs of business. SEA will also go on the road this year to bring new industry back to Rio Rancho.

“We need to be fluid and agile and be able to change and adapt to what is going on in the community and the environment of economics and development,” Shepherd said.

Home » Rio Rancho Observer » SEA leader takes job to invest in his own community


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Hundreds rally in ABQ against Supreme Court decision overturning ...
ABQnews Seeker
As soon as local advocates for ... As soon as local advocates for abortion rights heard about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade Friday morning they got to ...
2
NM Democrats weigh law protecting abortion rights
2022 election
'Our hearts, our clinics and our ... 'Our hearts, our clinics and our communities will remain open to those coming here for the care they want and need,' says one state ...
3
Congress sends landmark gun violence compromise to Biden
ABQnews Seeker
Heinrich, one of the senators who ... Heinrich, one of the senators who helped negotiate the legislation, called it "concrete action" that will make the situation better
4
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi to be ...
ABQnews Seeker
Parishes will chip in to cover ... Parishes will chip in to cover the payments on the debt
5
Former salon owner pleads guilty to five felonies
ABQnews Seeker
'Vampire facials' performed on clients who ... 'Vampire facials' performed on clients who contracted HIV
6
Young children now eligible for COVID vaccines in NM
ABQnews Seeker
Youngsters in New Mexico are now ... Youngsters in New Mexico are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines and doses for that age group have started to arrive, the state Department of ...
7
'Not all doom and gloom'
ABQnews Seeker
State making progress on 50-year water ... State making progress on 50-year water plan
8
Rael picked as chief administrative officer
ABQnews Seeker
Nomination heads to City Council Nomination heads to City Council
9
Police: Man drove over, killed brother
ABQnews Seeker
Witness told police body was dragged ... Witness told police body was dragged on street
10
Coffee shop holds fundraiser for first responders
ABQnews Seeker
All Ziggi's locations will donate $1 ... All Ziggi's locations will donate $1 for every drink sold, both in-store and via their mobile app